Text by Bill Springer, photographs by David Churchill, film footage by Drone Exposure.
I was descending through the quintessential Italian hilltowns with SJ, BLUEs head of partnerships (and one of the key people who has helped make the London to Monaco ride as successful as it is) when we saw the deep blue of the Mediterranean for the first time.
We’d both sensed we were getting closer to the ocean as we started to tick down the distance-to-go numbers on our third 200-kilometre day of the trip. But nothing compared to finally seeing what we’re riding for after such special day in the saddle that started 7 hours earlier.
Riding through Italy was even better than we’d hope it would be. Our route south was laced with vineyards and dotted with quaint chapels. Riders that had started as lycra-clad strangers in London were now comfortable enough to ride inches apart so their group could cover more ground and burn less energy.
And after riding nearly 800 kilometers in 6 days, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t looking forward to a few more luxurious (and lycra-free) days off the bike in Monaco.
But I could sense that SJ was as sad as I was that another London to Monaco ride was coming to a close. And the members of Winch Design team that we’d ridden with and I’d really come to love (Winch Design is the single biggest and most consistent sponsor of this ride since it started three years ago) felt the same way too.
But it wasn’t over yet! We still had another 30 kilometers to ride along the sea to our hotel before we could put another mega day into the books. It was hot. It was sunny. And, in spite of the great care that the Just Pedal team provided and the coffee that the Climpson and Sons team served up day after day and the massages we’ve had over the last week, we were all pretty tired and dehydrated. Plus the traffic on the coastal road to Monaco and France was far more congested than the county roads, cobbled farm tracks and canal paths we’d spent the majority of our time on in the last week.
But none of that mattered when I saw a flock of seabirds diving on some bait fish a couple hundred meters offshore. That’s when I knew it was all worth it.
Rocking into Monaco as part of a 100-person strong peloton and being personally greeted by the Prince of Monaco will just be the icing on the cake.
So please stay tuned. And if you’d not made a donation yet we’d be honored and grateful if you would now!
Because the world needs More Fish and Less Plastic.